Summary: We can trust God knowing that the future is completely on his radar screen, that the enemy is running on fumes, and that God’s love for his people wins out.
- - - - - - - - - -
All scripture quotations are from the New Living Translation.
- - - - - - - - - -
On Thursday after school a couple of junior high girls, whom I had never seen before, came to the church office door to ask me to pray for their friend who was in the hospital because someone had given her
a bad dose of the drug ecstasy.
That was the same day that we found out the North Koreans have been secretly building nuclear weapons, in spite of their agreement to abandon their weapons program.
And, of course, we’ve all been consumed with the news about this sniper person in the D.C. area. He sot a 37-year-old man in Virgina last night.
The US is massing a Naval presence in the Persian Gulf in preparation for war against Iraq.
By the way, the results of last weekend’s election gave Saddam Hussein an overwhelming victory. He received 100% of the votes cast by the 11.4 million Iraqis – an improvement over the last election where he received something like a 99.9% approval.
You know, there is no shortage of crazies out there – people who give drugs to kids – and tainted batches at that --
Leaders who feed their egos by playing the world power game.
Many people have just quit reading the news – and some are annoyed with me because I bring this stuff up on Sunday mornings. They prefer something more inspiring and uplifting.
But, really, no matter how hard you try you can’t hide your head in the sand – and continue breathing for very long.
It comes at us on a daily basis and it’s frustrating that things seem so out of control – so downright crazy.
And our passage in Daniel 11 only reinforces that point – except it’s not written from a point of despair.
Now, Daniel, himself found all of these visions and dreams extremely troubling – but by the time that they were all put together the undercurrent of hope and faith becomes pretty strong.
This morning I want to make three observations rooted in the 11th chapter of Daniel. And I think that these things should actually recharge our batteries so we don’t feel swamped by everything that is happening around us.
The first thing that I want you to see in this passage is that EVERYTHING THAT IS HAPPENING IS ON GOD’S RADAR SCREEN.
This appears to be the point of all of the information dumped on Daniel in chapter 11. Specifically, I’m talking about all the list of kings and their activities.
This is sixth century BC – but the vision contains detailed information about kings and happenings on into the second century BC – and beyond. There is so much detail in here that a lot of scholars think it couldn’t have possibly been written down in the sixth century BC.
The kings are never named but there are lists and lists of kings coming from the south and the north and defeating such and such other king – lots of detail.
The first 35 verses of Daniel 11 read more like history than prophetic vision. And there are some people that are bothered by the amount of detail supposedly given hundreds of years in advance. I’m not one of them but I can understand how this is really a stretch.
However, there is a point in all the detail here. Daniel 11 is conveying the sense that nothing is happening without the knowledge of God. After all, he is the source of Daniel’s vision.
None of this is happening without God’s knowledge – even if it is hundreds of years in the future. It’s all on God’s radar screen.
We have a friend who is a professor of electrical engineering at a university in Texas. And one of the long term experiments he’s been working on is the use of radar in measuring ice. You know...icebergs.
Us normal folk – we’d look at an iceberg and say – "Wow, that’s a lot of ice. You could make a lot of snow cones with that!"
But Jonathan looks at an iceberg and he can tell you how thick it is, how deep it goes, how much it weighs, how much water it contains. And this is because it’s on his radar screen.
He sees things that other people can’t see. How much more so is God operating from that unique perspective. And if he sees and knows things that no one else sees and knows then he is able to work those things toward his long-term purposes.
Alas, we end up back at the overarching message of the whole book of Daniel – in spite of present appearances, God is in control.